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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html


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Chapter IV. — Origin of the Seminole Hostilities.

IN a debate which took place in the Senate on the 25th and 27th of January, on a resolution and a bill offered by Mr. Linn, to make appropriations to suppress hostilities with the Seminoles, Colonel Benton made the following graphic remarks concerning the origin of the Seminole war:

"Some years ago I was a member of the Committee on Indian Affairs. At that time, these Indians in Florida were in a state of starvation; they would not work, and it was necessary that they should be fed by the United States, or they must subsist on the plunder of our citizens. I am under the impression that for these Indians there was appropriated by Congress a very large sum, perhaps 30,000 or $40,000, to place them where they would be enabled to live without plundering. These Indians are a very bad tribe, as their name signifies; the word SEMINOLE, in Indian, being ‘wild, runaway Indians.’ They were therefore considered a bad race. It was obviously the best policy to remove these Indians to a place where they would be able to obtain plenty. Treaties were consequently made with them on the subject of their removal, and the process has been going on for some years; but when the time arrived when they should be removed, they declared that they had no wish to go; and so again last summer, when there was another attempt to remove them. The disturbances began by their shooting their chiefs, and from this increased to the extent described in the report of Captain Belton, from which, and from private letters, it is understood that, in the massacres which have taken place, the runaway negroes of the South were the most conspicuous. They traversed the field of the dead, and cut open the throats of those who were expiring. Two weeks ago, I stated here, that what had already resulted from the movements of abolitionists was sufficient to cast upon them a sin for which they never could atone. Great as that mass of sin is, they may yet have a greater mass to answer for, in comparison with which the past is but as a drop in a bucket." 645

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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html
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